Sarah Beck is a potter and visual artist who operates Wildfire Pottery, a studio and gift shop on the Cabot Trail near North Shore. Making things from clay is a vocation that she came to naturally.
“My mother is a potter, so I grew up working in the studio with her, making things from clay,” said Sarah. “I always loved animals, so I would make little animal sculptures and bake them in the kiln. Pottery has always been part of my life.”
Although she makes some functional pieces, much of Sarah’s work is sculpture that is inspired by the natural environment of Cape Breton Island. One of the processes she uses is raku, which is based upon an ancient Japanese technique for making tea pots and bowls. After the second firing, the red hot pieces are placed on a bed of newspapers in an airtight container. The newspapers catch fire and the smoke stains unglazed sections of the clay in random patterns.
“The first time I tried Raku, I was totally hooked,” said Sarah. “I had friends who were trying it, so I made one piece and put it in the kiln. I was amazed by the results and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
As well as pottery, Sarah also makes buttons, badges, gift cards, earrings, and other gift items based upon her designs. She sells her work to tourists visiting the Cabot Trail, at local craft markets, and online.
For more information, visit WildfirePottery.ca